0 From eyesore to wildlife haven

The Problem The flooded area

During the summer of 2014, an area of the golf course between the 11th and 12th holes, which has always been traditionally a boggy area, flooded and spilled over onto the fairway. The water level also rose above the level of the outlet drain from the 11th green, making the playing surface almost unplayable.

The cause of the flood was eventually traced to a 100 year old broken drain located approximately ½ mile away from Hinckley Golf Club; in fact the blockage was so severe that the area was now being backfilled from flooded fields. The standing water soon became stagnant, algae-covered and extremely pungent; the wildlife soon deserted the area.

The Goal

The old ‘bridge’ can be seen floating on the floodsDue to issues with accessing the land we were unable to excavate and repair the broken pipe, so being short of funds but big on determination, a group of members and the Greens Staff decided to develop a plan to resolve the issue. After consulting with the Environment Agency, Wildlife Trust and an Ecological Consultant the team came up with a design for a new pond. The main goals that we were trying to achieve were as follows.

- To create an aesthetically pleasing area of the golf course that would be a real feature of the 11th and 12th holes.

- To create a wildlife haven that would attract insect, bird and plant life back to the area.

- To establish the new pond to a natural condition in a relatively short period of time.

Installing the Balanced Pump SystemThe Solution

Work began in February 2015 when a large pump was hired to drain the area; this took over 10 days of 12 hour per day pumping with a large industrial diesel water pump. When the area was drained our Greens Staff used in-house excavators and a hired dumper truck to carry out major excavation works and reshape the area.

This was a very testing operation for our staff in extremely boggy conditions in the middle of a cold and wet winter.

A team of volunteer members installed electricity to the area, which supplies a balance pump system to maintain a constant water level in the new pond. An electrical panel containing a small micro-processor controls the pumping operations; this panel also controls the aeration fountains which were installed to keep the water well oxygenated and healthy.

Installing the jettyA jetty was installed to give access to the pumps and a wooden cover installed over the electrical control panel to blend it in with the surroundings.

Following further advice from a specialist pond nursery, a team of volunteers planted a variety of native plants and reeds around the perimeter of the new pond. Water Lilies were added the excavated areas and fairways were turfed and seeded.

The Result

Hinkle pond finishedAfter months of hard work and a lot of help from members, staff and not forgetting a big helping hand from mother-nature, we feel that we have finally achieved our goal. The area now looks fantastic and the wildlife is moving back in day by day. The pond is now truly a wildlife haven and a lovely feature to have on our golf course, all achieved in the space of 18 months.

You can read the original article from Midlands Golfer HERE

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